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Bill helps Hillary Clinton pay her campaign debts

December 26, 2008 |  6:22 am

Current Senator and about-to-be-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is under some special kind of financial pressure this holiday weekend. Aren't we all? And so, actually, is anyone she owes money to.

The New York senator's still got about $6.3 million in debts left over from her unsuccessful Democratic Party primary campaign. And the minute she's confirmed by that same Senate to join Barack Obama's Cabinet, it becomes illegal for her to raise such political money.

Hi, says Chelsea Clinton, please give my Dad's foundation some money, so he can buy access to my Mom's campaign e-mail lists and reduce her debts before she gets confirmed as Barack Obama's secretary of state and can't raise political money anymore

So she and hubby Bill, the ex-president, have come up with a clever idea to infuse probably a few hundred thousand dollars into her deceased campaign's treasury.

The William J. Clinton Foundation is buying access to the Hillary Clinton campaign e-mail lists.

This explains why you may have gotten that friendly e-mail fundraising letter from Chelsea Clinton about the foundation's AIDS work the other day. Or the membership sales pitch this week day from Media Matters for America. It bought the list too. If you gave money or sent one of those website messages of support, you've been sold. Or your e-mail has.

It's all perfectly legal according to the Federal Election Commission rules, as long as Clinton charges "fair market value," whatever that means for a list that might contain five or six million e-mails. Obama's, for example, is said to have perhaps 13 million names on it.

According to ABC News, which broke the story, such an e-mail list rental could be worth several hundred thousand dollars.

As the Ticket reported the other day, Sen. Clinton paid down her debts $1.1 million from November to December, leaving the $6.3 million. Of that sum, $5.3 million is owed to Mark Penn, her former political strategist who was relieved of duties, you may recall, something about working for Colombia and Clinton at the same time.

Clinton also wrote off a whopping $13.1 million of her money which she'd loaned to herself.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Associated Press

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